For the 2015 Bachtrack poll of professional music critics, see this link. [September, 2015]

This morning, Gramophone magazine is publishing a list of the world's top 20 orchestras, collating the views of some of the world's top music critics and journalists (including, of course, their own staff). It shouldn't surprise you to know that the Bachtrack concert finder has listings for seventeen out of the twenty – and no, we didn't just put them in because of Gramophone!

So use this page as a "smart guide" to the top 20 orchestras in the world, where you can click on each name to see concerts in which they're involved:


  1. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam
  2. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  3. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  4. London Symphony Orchestra
  5. Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  6. Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
  7. Cleveland Orchestra
  8. Los Angeles Philharmonic
  9. Budapest Festival Orchestra
  10. Dresden Staatskapelle
  11. Boston Symphony Orchestra
  12. New York Philharmonic
  13. San Francisco Symphony
  14. Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
  15. Russian National Orchestra
  16. St Petersburg Philharmonic
  17. Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
  18. Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
  19. Saito Kinen Symphony Orchestra
  20. Czech Philharmonic

By the way, if anyone from Japan sees this and wants to help us get some of the Saito Kinen, or more Mariinsky events input, we'll be delighted - just let us know via the contact page!


You should be able to find the original article somewhere on Gramophone's website - try this link.

21st November 2008 David Karlin